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Published On: Thu, Nov 19th, 2015

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin: End taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is calling upon the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board to terminate the state’s Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.

In a Nov. 18 letter to Board Director Nico Gomez, Fallin cited “alarming” results from state integrity reviews that found a 14-20 percent error rate in the abortion giant’s Medicaid billings. She also cited Alliance Defending Freedom reports to Congress that have outlined “a consistent pattern of federal audits of national and Oklahoma Planned Parenthood affiliates overbilling for services” and “numerous False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuits,” such as the ADF lawsuit Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

“Governor Fallin is right to recognize that taxpayer money should go to fund local community health centers, not to subsidize a scandal-ridden, billion-dollar abortion business,” said ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek. “Oklahomans shouldn’t be forced to give their money to Planned Parenthood, which has a long track record of abusive and potentially fraudulent billing practices, not to mention that it has also been caught in authenticated undercover videos trafficking aborted babies’ body parts and has repeatedly failed to report the sexual abuse of girls. That tax money should be redirected to trusted health care providers.” (#DefundPP)

photo Pawel Loj

photo Pawel Loj

“Research strongly suggests that Planned Parenthood and its Oklahoma and national affiliates regularly, whether intentionally or negligently, engage in a pattern of practices resulting in the overbilling of state Medicaid programs,” Fallin wrote. “For example, the Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a series of four reports dated October 26, 2011, April 10, 2013, July 23, 2014, and September 17, 2015, outlining a consistent pattern of federal audits of national and Oklahoma Planned Parenthood affiliates overbilling for services.”

The letter also points to the Thayer lawsuit and an opinion in the case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that concluded that former Planned Parenthood facility director Sue Thayer provided “sufficiently particularized facts to support her allegations that Planned Parenthood violated the FCA….” As the letter explains, “The federal False Claims Act (FCA) forbids government contractors from submitting ‘false or fraudulent’ claims for payment, and authorizes whistleblowers to bring suit against the offenders in order to recover the fraudulently obtained funds.”

“While the Thayer case has not yet reached a final result, it is disturbing in light of the numerous pending FCA lawsuits and one settlement where a Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates paid $4.3 million to settle the fraud issues…,” the letter continues. “I do not believe that these Planned Parenthood providers and their leadership have the competence to provide cost-effective, legally compliant, and ethically responsible medical care paid for by our taxpayers through Oklahoma’s Medicaid programs.”

The letter goes on to point out that terminating funding “will not interfere with any individual’s ability to have a free choice of healthcare provider services. There are only two Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state operating in about six metropolitan locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. However, there are more than one hundred and twenty other metropolitan and rural providers available to Oklahoma citizens…, all of whom provide a broader spectrum of health care services than Planned Parenthood’s limited metropolitan locations.” (GetYourCare.org)

“Indeed, whether willful or negligent,” Fallin’s letter concludes, “the consistent submission of improper billings should disqualify these Planned Parenthood providers from participation in the Oklahoma Medicaid program.”

photo/Pro-Life Action League

photo/Pro-Life Action League

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